Definition of felicity in US English:

felicity

noun

  • 1Intense happiness.

    ‘domestic felicity’
    • ‘For such a person, felicity after death could be higher than felicity before death.’
    • ‘What he's talking about - as always - is how to lead a good and therefore happy life; he loved productivity and valued felicity.’
    • ‘We suspect felicity is not likely to accompany a sense of entitlement, which arises from a sullen sense that not only are things not improving but that that is because we have no control - the world does not appreciate our true worth.’
    • ‘But felicity is, in the end, something to be sought.’
    • ‘That joy… that felicity, he was always grinning, always wearing that dumb smirk on his face.’
    • ‘In this respect they work as much in favor of happiness in this world as of felicity in the next.’
    • ‘I was not certain this would lead to continued domestic felicity.’
    • ‘All we have to do is speak our preferences plainly and a whole new world of mutual felicity should arise.’
    • ‘Reveries of former felicity are interrupted by the sight of a valiant little vessel ploughing towards us through choppy seas.’
    happiness, joy, joyfulness, joyousness, rapture, bliss, euphoria, delight, cheer, cheerfulness, gaiety
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  • 2The ability to find appropriate expression for one's thoughts.

    ‘speech that pleased by its accuracy, felicity, and fluency’
    • ‘His audacities of phrase struck him as grotesque, his felicities of expression were monstrosities, and everything was absurd, unreal, and impossible.’
    • ‘The translations I offer aim to transcribe the phrasing of the French as exactly as possible, often at the expense of English idiom or felicity of expression.’
    • ‘He can flit from populist argument to high brow abstraction and then back into quango-speak and then consultancy jargon with amazing felicity.’
    • ‘His special felicity was in the depiction of moonlight, mist-gleam and rainshine, often in combination, on parkland, ship-rigged harbours and lamp-lit city streets.’
    • ‘With her fund of experience and felicity of expression, her courage and uncompromising values, what a wonderful writer she could have become!’
    • ‘I do not usually interrupt questions, but I do like felicity of expression, which that clearly was not.’
    • ‘Evaluation of the work's historical quality addresses the comprehensiveness of the research, the development of the argument, and the felicity of the expression.’
    • ‘But he is additionally revered for combining his extraordinary climbing ability with a felicity for writing.’
    • ‘In India, where he is read for the felicity of his language, sales of his novels are very much in demand among the younger generation.’
    • ‘English humour is subtle and effective while the felicity of expression is lost in the American humour.’
    • ‘Her vibrant stage presence, excellent command over rhythm and felicity of expression held the audience spellbound.’
    • ‘Prema Jayakumar's translation is done with a rare felicity that is pleasing to read.’
    • ‘An original thinker always alertly attuned to contemporary culture, he was admired for his intellectual style and the felicity with which he expressed his ideas in his many books and articles.’
    eloquence, aptness, appropriateness, appropriacy, suitability, suitableness, applicability, fitness, relevance, pertinence, correctness, rightness
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    1. 2.1 A particularly effective feature of a work of literature or art.
      ‘the King James version, thanks to its felicities of language, ruled supreme’
      • ‘It has been admired for ‘its simplicity, its dignity, its power, its happy turns of expression the music of its cadences, and the felicities of its rhythm’.’
      • ‘As a lyricist, he still oscillates between occasional felicities and frequent triviality.’
      • ‘Thriving on the pressure of incessant deadlines, he could always be counted on to produce essays and exhibition reviews that shimmer with verbal felicities enough to make them worth reading for their own, literary sake.’
      • ‘When I was a kid you'd get amazingly faithful BBC adaptations of classic books - eight or twelve one-hour episodes to build a minor Victorian novel, recreating all its felicities.’
      • ‘Innocent jokes depend upon verbal felicities, puns, play upon words, combining incongruous words, and so on.’
      • ‘I have wondered, for instance, whether it is more a sense of brushstroke rather than verbal felicity that makes for some of the most arresting imagery in the lyric poems of David Campbell or the meditative poems of Robert Gray.’
      • ‘Every page of the book is studded with similar felicities but it would be wrong, says Carey, for him to take all the credit.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French felicite, from Latin felicitas, from felix, felic- ‘happy’.

Pronunciation

felicity

/fəˈlisədē//fəˈlɪsədi/